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Storytelling In Hamilton – Spring 2015

For decades, Hamilton was characterized as a lunch-bucket town, or worse yet as the arm-pit of the Niagara Escarpment. These days nothing could be further from the truth: Hamilton has become a hotbed of literary activity thanks to gritLIT, LitLive, and independent bookstores. gritLIT, Hamilton’s Readers and Writers’ Festival which started in 2004, has blossomed into an event…

Give It A Rest!

The winter months have traditionally been my time to write. I hunker down, throw on a cape, steep tea, and spend hours at my computer. The next day I re-write everything from the day before, and then begin anew. The process goes on for months and I love it. Inevitably, the first signs of spring provoke anxiety. Lengthening days…

Be well. Be strong. And Carry on.

Back home, we scoffed at taking 10 days to walk the last 110 kilometres of The Camino de Santiago. However, on Day 9 of our trek, we are not so dismissive. The Camino has its own way of humbling people who might be a tad too full of piss and vinegar. The walk is strenuous.…

You’re all grown-up when…. it’s all up to you

  Remember being sixteen, getting your driver’s licence and thinking you were all grown- up? The card in your wallet brought freedom, as long as the gas tank was full when you returned the car to your parents’ garage. That feeling of being grown-up may have lasted until you lost your virginity. In fifteen minutes…

You Say Milkweed – I Say Wildflower

  If a plant is known to be toxic and invasive, why would anyone intentionally sow its seeds into a suburban garden? To piss off the neighbours? Unlikely.  To engage in selective breeding? Possibly.  But what if that plant is milkweed—a plant which by virtue of its name is a considered a weed and not…

Thank you to the Canadian Medical Association and Macleans Magazine

Across the country, Canadians were given a forum to discuss end-of-life care,  thanks to the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and Macleans. The Town Hall style meetings were an inspired idea. I attended the meeting in Mississauga and was pleased to see the combination of structure and informality in the program. Participants could come away with a common vocabulary,…

We Can Do Better

“Forget about planning your funeral; begin planning your end of life!”  That was the first response to my question, “What was your ‘takeaway’ from reading Autumn’s Grace?” as a recent discussion with The Neighbours’ Book Club was winding down. There were nods around the room. The speaker continued, “I have started talking with the people…